Unprecedented times call for creative solutions, as well as careful preparation. As you craft a plan for dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, it’s important that you not forget to factor in your furry family members. That can mean everything from packing a go-bag for your pets to designating a friend or relative to take care of them, should you fall ill.
The New York State Veterinary Medical Society recommends taking several proactive steps to ensure that you and your pet emerge from this pandemic safe and sound. If you’re sick, these include avoiding contact with your pets as much as possible by designating another member of your household to take care of them and keeping petting, snuggling, and kissing to a minimum.
You might also want to wash your hands before and after all interactions and clean pet bedding, leashes, collars, dishes, and toys the same way you would clean other surfaces in your home.
Even if you feel completely fine, it’s a good idea to prepare for the worst. Take the time to ask a friend or relative if they’re willing to care for your pets in the event you are unable to care for them yourself and provide that person with a key to your home and your contact information.
You’ll also want to:
- Gather up all your pet’s essentials – food, bedding, medication, toys, collar, up-to-date identification, medical records – into a go-bag.
- Record important information about your pet so that you can easily access it during an emergency.
- Have crates and other supplies on hand for quick movement if necessary.
- Talk with any potential boarding facilities to see if they can offer safe shelter for your pet during a health emergency.
- Update animal vaccines (Rabies, Bordetella) in the event that boarding becomes necessary.
- If your pet is on medication, ask us for an extra supply.
- Ensure all medications are documented with dosages and administering instructions.
- If you do not have a yard, be sure to have extra cleaning products and newspaper/puppy pads on hand if you cannot leave your home to walk your dog.
A few other things to keep in mind: if your neighbors have pets and are quarantined and unable to take care of their own animal companions, you might consider volunteering to help them. That is, of course, if you yourself are in good health. And, while we’re all still under shelter-in-place orders, please only schedule appointments with us when your pet requires essential or emergency care.
If you have questions about these recommendations or if we can help in any way, don’t hesitate to call us at (518) 885-2550. And please stay safe!